With the postseason quickly approaching, it’s time to start whittling down the expanded roster to form a solid playoff squad that will push the Astros to the heights of October.
Which two players from the current Houston Astros‘ roster won’t make the cut? That all depends on the front office and manager Dusty Baker and their philosophy on who they choose to employ. Last season, the Astros went heavy pitching which left the team very light on the bench for position players and two of those few position player spots they used on catchers.
If the team take the same approach this year, Cristian Javier could not even be a question, but with current roster moves I think he will find it hard to eliminate several players that have come up in the past two months. Let’s take a critical look at how Javier has stacked up these past few months to see if he is playoff worthy.
That’s the last time Javier hasn’t given up at least one run total in a pair of consecutive appearances. On July 23, he tossed an inning, and on July 25, he tossed two innings, both scoreless. Since then, Javier has allowed at least one run, every other appearance.
His ERA hasn’t taken too hard of a hit but in terms of reliability, Javier has reliably given up at least one run every other inning and has averaged 1.2 innings per appearance. The question remains then, is Javier’s appearance too long or is he just not performing?
In appearances of one inning or less this season Javier, totaling six appearances, has given up seven total runs however if you subtract his one inning implosion against the San Diego Padres, he has given up three runs in five appearances, still not an encouraging trend.
Similarly, the only playoff caliber team he has faced the past two months has been the Padres, which doesn’t instill confidence in his ability to shut down top teams. The last time he faced a playoff team, prior to the Padres, was July 10 against the New York Yankees when he tossed three innings of shutout baseball, however the appearance prior against the Oakland Athletics, he gave up two runs in an inning, the trend remains.
So looking month by month Javier’s ERA keeps climbing and his innings are dwindling, so Baker has lost confidence as well. In August he posted a 3.24 ERA and for September he has a 7.50 ERA thus far, compared to 2.31 and 2.51 in June and July respectively.
Lastly, of note is Javier’s performance at home versus away, and his 2.56 ERA is a huge difference from his 4.17 away ERA. So if he is on the roster I think you send him in only at home with favorable match ups, which this season is hitters 6-9 and 1-2 only. I think Javier makes the roster but is one of the last ones used from the pen and last spots on the roster.